The Viking sails have been set – 2018 will be under the Sign of the Dragonhead. Uncompromising, combative, epic – Leaves’ Eyes are one of the most successful bands in the symphonic metal genre and return with their seventh album, ready to live up to the public’s high expectations.
Leaves‘ Eyes are the historians of metal. Every album puts to music a chapter of Nordic mythology or one of the Nordic sagas. Lovelorn(2004) delved into the mystical world of a mermaid. The legendary VinlandSagabrought the Vikings to life in 2005 and entered the album charts, kicking off the wave of success which saw the bombastic Njord(2009) continue the adventurous journey of these medieval mariners. Meredeadwith its Celtic folk sounds went on to take the ghosts of the marine world by surprise. The Metal opera Symphonies Of The Night (2013) was a monument to the heroic women of past centuries.
The musicians’ fascination with myths and the powerful nature of the Nordic countries is tangible in all their
compositions. Every Leaves‘ Eyes album is a soundtrack for a history told in multilingual concepts.
In 2015 Leaves‘Eyes delivered an impressive monumental opus about the first king of Norway in their epic King Of Kings, a sophisticated concept album which garnered chart positions in numerous countries (no. 15 in Germany, among others) and consolidated the footprint of this style-defining act in the foundations of symphonic metal. Sold-out shows in Europe, Asia, North and South America (a US tour with Sabaton in 2017, among others) during their King Of Kings global tour attest to enthusiastic reactions worldwide. Their live shows are spectacular events featuring breathtaking stage sets like a Viking ship or the unforgettable ‘Swords in the Stone’ monument.
April 2016 saw Finnish vocalist Elina Siirala succeed Liv Kristine at the longship’s helm. Her impressive live premiere in front of more than 20,000 metalheads at the Hammersonic in Jakarta/Indonesia, subsequent festival appearances (headlining shows at the Metal Female Voices, Wave Gotik Treffen, Masters of Symphonic Metal, Full Metal Cruise, among others) and tours through Europe, the US and Canada established Elina as a charismatic frontwoman with a powerful voice, immediately sparking euphoria among Leaves’ Eyes’ fans. Following the ‘Fires In The North’ EP, which sold out immediately, Sign Of The Dragonhead will be the first full album featuring the new line-up. The chronicles of the Vikings is continued and reveals that the band have honed their strengths even further. At the same time, musical surprises have raised their sound to a new level. The title track is a raw number featuring martial choirs and forges a sonic arch to King Of Kings, continuing the adventurous journey of King Harald I.
Frontman Alexander Krull and virtuoso guitarist Thorsten Bauer prove to be ingenious
masters when it comes to composing haunting metal hits. Every track has the musicians upping the creative ante, revealing an impressive amount of diversity without neglecting their trademark sound elements. “Across The Sea” evolves into a metal shanty with an irresistible rhythm, bound to be a definite neck breaker. “Like A Mountain” sets to music a tragic Icelandic love saga and surprises as a bass-heavy goth rock track. An emotional song with plenty of tough elements which allows Elina to reveal the full range of her vocal skills. Confident and autonomous, her classically trained voice takes possession of the songs – gentle at times, powerful at others – lending a highly individual note to her interaction with Alex‘s growls.
Leaves‘ Eyes have succeeded in creating compositionally complex yet tangible tracks. Perfectly coordinated instrumentation – never top-heavy, always unconventional. Medieval nyckelharpas, fiddles, uilleann pipes and whistles blend naturally with the metal guise, creating catchy songs such as “Shadows In The Night” and “Völva”, which whisks its listeners away to the mythical world of the seeresses and sorceresses of the Northern countries. Nobody expected a song like “Riders On The Wind” which has classic heavy metal and Celtic folk clash to create an acoustic Viking party. These musicians’ deep affinity with the Viking era is revealed on “Jomsborg” about the legendary fortress and its Baltic Viking army, where in fact Alex’s ancestors hail from. At the same time, “Jomsborg” is an homage to today’s Viking re-enactment scene which is enjoying.
Sign of the Dragonhead tracklisting:
01. “Sign of the Dragonhead”
02. “Across the Sea”
03. “Like a Mountain”
06. “Riders on the Wind”
07. “Fairer than the Sun”
08. “Shadows in the Night”
09. “Rulers of Wind and Waves”
10. “Fires in the North”
11. “Waves of Euphoria”
Leaves’ Eyes: Elina Siirala – Vocals Alexander Krull – Vocals Thorsten Bauer -Guitars Pete Streit – Guitars Joris Nijenhuis – Drums
Produced by Alexander Krull at Mastersound Studio
The cover artwork was done by Stefan Heilemann
(Lindemann, Epica, Kamelot)
Sign of the Dragonhead will be released on January 12, 2018, via AFM Records.